Gamescom 2016 - Is Your Living Room Ready For VR?

Gamescom 2016 is over and the last few days were packed with new and exciting technology. First and foremost, Virtual Reality. Last year was just a sneak peak of what was to come. We still have to reach mass market with VR and by the end of this year and Sony's Playstation VR entry, I'm confident the market will get there. If you haven't tried out VR yet, just go get your hands on one of those Google cardboards https://vr.google.com/cardboard/ it's easy, it's cheap and you'll get the idea.

Although we are not yet in the stage where everything is perfect, it's still enough to get invested in. Exploring new worlds in Crytek's Robinson or cleaning the streets of Gotham as the Dark Knight himself feels great and looks amazing at the event:

Albeit impressive and a new way of playing, I still see some of it's early problems. Motion sickness is a problem, especially for non-gamer types. I did not get sick, but I just played for 10 minutes. I could imagine that prolonged gaming sessions would be much more stressful for the body. I could imagine myself getting lost in a game like No Man's Sky for hours and I don't know how the brain will handle that.

In addition the apparatus is clunky, heavy and looks weird from the outside, it doesn't matter at which brand we are looking, they all have that in common. 

Is your living room big enough?

Picture taken from: http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/this-is-how-much-space-you-ll-need-to-use-playstation-vr-1325702 

One of the most fascinating facts that nobody is talking about is the question of do you have enough space for VR? It clearly depends on the games you want to play, but if you have to stand up and move around, your small work desk in the corner might not be enough. Just have a look at this video below. It shows how much space we would need for a real VR game, using Steam's Vive Headset:

Most games at Gamescom I played were played while sitting with a controller, but thinking further, will we actually have enough space? I think this is something where a renting system could take place. You can go rent a room and playtime and have the full experience. It's definitely nothing for every home.

FYI: If you are interested in VR now, have a look at the link below, it contains an overview of all VR products:  http://www.wareable.com/headgear/the-best-ar-and-vr-headsets 

3 Personal Highlights 

Of course, VR was not the only thing you could experience. There is a lot going on. After E3 we knew that new consoles are on the horizon or at least planned. Be it something like the PS4 Neo, XBOX Scorpio or the Nintendo NX. Unfortunately there were no new rumors on them at Gamescom. However there is still a lot of action coming this and next year to your console. Three of my favorites were:

The Legend of Zelda  Breath of the Wild

The completely new and upcoming Zelda game looks amazing. The gorgeous open world seems perfect for a refreshing spin on new adventures. It seems that both consoles the current WiiU and the NX will be the platform for the game. In my opinion it is one of the most anticipated games in recent years.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

Released just now, the new installment in the Deus Ex franchise is superb. It is one of those games that, while playing in the future of 2029, picks up modern and recent themes like terrorism or discrimination and puts them into a world of its own, where augmentations (mechanical enhancements on humans) are the norm and mankind struggles to find its path. 

Even if you are not at all interested in videogames, this game is a modern cyber-thriller that is one of the best scripted and adult themed games out there, so at least give the trailer a chance.

Final Fantasy XV

One of those games that is said to be 10 years in the development and will be published by Square Enix this November. As a huge fan of the franchise, the graphical integrity of the game as well as the fluent combat and move mechanichs, an included VR option and a possbily epic story is overwhelming. 

This will be a truly a masterpiece in any sense and will probably lay the foundation for future games to come both in scope and technology. 

Bonus Round

The most fun game at Gamescom 2016 was South Park - The Fractured But Whole with it's very own type of "VR", the Nosulus Rift. I was sitting next to a guy wearing this device and I can tell you, this will be a really disgusting...and funny.

Thanks for reading!

Sebastian